Alice Stewart was born to Sophie Marie Erickson and William Stewart in Hinton , Iowa on September 17, 1908 . Stewart grew up with four sisters and one brother helping with various chores pertaining to the farms on which her family lived. She attended grade school at Woolworth School until 1923, when she attended a high school that was referred to as "the Castle on the Hill" in Leeds, Iowa. Stewart graduated from high school in 1925, and taught in Woodbury County from 1926 until 1929. From 1927 to 1928, Stewart also attended college at what is now the University of Northern Iowa, where she met Earl McMurry. They were married in May 1928, and had one son, Earl William McMurry. Alice McMurry taught all grades at a school in Wayne County between the years 1943 and 1950. She then taught in Promise City from 1950 to 1968. Her last teaching position was in Seymour, Iowa, where she taught kindergarten. In 1984, she served as assistant to the postmistress of Promise City. In addition to her occupational positions, McMurry wrote poetry, short stories, and memoirs.